How to Make a Delivery Service App [Features + Cost + Timeline]

If you are an owner of a delivery business, you must be looking for different ways to make more profits. However, relying on any third-party applications will not bring the same results that are expected in the delivery business.


Third-party applications like GrubHub and Instacart have limitations for the delivery owners and also cut a huge part of your profit margin. This means, being an owner of a delivery business, you need to pay a hefty commission charge for using third-party applications.

So? What is the solution?

Instead of relying on any third-party application, develop your own customized delivery app solution according to your requirements.

Here are the benefits of a customized delivery service app:

  • Get a custom mobile app as per your requirements
  • Flexibility to add new features as your business grows
  • Get control over the data and the mobile app platform
  • The benefit of adding advanced technologies like ML and BI technologies

In fact, during the COVID-19 crisis, around 31% of the USA households used online grocery delivery or pickup service. This report suggests that people are likely interested in using on-demand services.


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But how to make a delivery service app?
How to automate your delivery service business?

Don’t worry; with the help of our experienced on-demand mobile application developers, we have drafted this step by step guide for you. You will get to know about market statistics, essential features, timeline, and cost. Let’s get started.

Market Growth of On-demand Delivery Service Apps

Before going on how to make an on-demand delivery app for your business, you must know the market trends. Knowing market trends and growth will help you to make better decisions. Let’s check the market statistics of delivery services apps.

The above statistics give positive conviction on the growth of on-demand service industries. Therefore, if you want to develop an on-demand delivery app, this becomes the perfect time to convert your idea into reality.

Let’s check the steps to create an on-demand delivery app.

How to Create a Delivery Service App? 4 Steps to Guide

We have bifurcated the delivery service application development process into 4 different steps. These steps will help you make your requirements clear before you start developing an application. Here is the first step that we are going to discuss.

  1. Identify Your Target Audience

  2. One of the first steps to create an app is to study the market.Here, you are required to select what types of delivery service you want to offer to your users. A few examples of on-demand delivery services with the audience are:

    • Grocery – People who are likely to prefer to purchase groceries online through city stores.
    • Fuel – Users who need delivery services of fuel when the vehicle runs out of fuel.
    • Laundry – People who give clothes to laundry services on a regular basis.

    But how do you identify your target audience?

    To identify your target audience, you need to find out answers to these questions:

    • Who can be your current customers?
    • Why should they use your delivery app?
    • Are there enough customers in your targeted niche?
    • What are the age criteria of your customers?
    • Which countries are you targeting for your app?
    • Will the target audience benefit from your app?

    Answering all the questions will help you to know the specific audience for your delivery service application. If you have a local delivery business, then your audience is from that same region.

    But, if you want to establish your business across the globe like Uber or Amazon, then your audience will be from across the globe. That’s how companies like Uber or Postmates, or GrubHub started their business by identifying their target audience.

    identifying target audience

    Deciding on your target audience helps to get an idea of what your users expect from an app, and accordingly, you can integrate features in your custom delivery app. As you get to know about your customers, it helps you to understand the needs of your users.

    Thus, identifying your target audience helps you to create a personalized solution for your customers. Therefore, conducting market analysis helps to know if your target audience is willing to use your application or not. Once you know your audience and their requirements, it becomes easy to develop your on-demand delivery app.

  3. Do Competitors Analysis

  4. After identifying your audience, do market research and check for your competitors. Knowing which delivery apps have been used by your target customers can help you to understand your competitors. Check app stores to know and learn from your potential competitors.

    Identify the top three leaders in your segment and gather essential information about their apps. Such information can be:

    • What services do they offer? What is their USP?
    • Which types of products/services do they offer?
    • What are their monetization strategies?
    • Which features do they provide to their customers?

    Furthermore, you can install your competitors’ applications and check the functionalities and usability of the delivery app. While installing and using any of your competitor’s delivery apps, have a mindset of a user and then use the application.

    The benefit of doing this is, it will help to automatically make your mobile app better in terms of usability, design, and user navigation. Do you know how?

    Because you have already identified the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. Make your own delivery app unique by offering better features compared to what your competitors are doing right now. So, when you provide excellent services compared to your competitors, people will be interested in using them and this becomes your competitive advantage to be a part of market leaders.

    To make your on-demand delivery app different from your competitors, please consider these points:

    • Identify the problem of your customers you can solve through your mobile application. This means you need to focus on offering the best services that make you stand out from all your competitors.
    • Think about the benefits and learn how your delivery app will be more beneficial than the existing apps. For example, you offer delivery of parcels by ensuring maximum safety protocols. This solves the pain point of consumers in terms of safety and your app becomes more beneficial than existing apps of the market.
    • Make sure your mobile app has a unique selling point. It helps to market and publish your app distinct from the existing apps of the market.

    Why should you have a unique selling point for your on-demand delivery service app?

    A USP helps you to stand out from your competitors. Because if your product is the same as your competitors, then why would your users buy from you? A USP of your app idea plays an important role for your business.

    Let’s take an example: Postmates app’s USP is selling “anything, anytime, and anywhere”. The company’s core focus is on providing the best delivery services to its users on any grocery, food, or drink at any time, anywhere.

    Once you identify your audience and study competitors, you need to think about how you will earn from your app. Think about which business model you should integrate into your app that earns a good profit as ROI.

  5. Choose Your Business Model

  6. What is a business model?

    It is a core business plan on making a profit by selling services or products to customers. The models include all the information about the products or services that businesses want to sell.

    And what are the common types of business models?

    To list a few, here are the names:

    • Subscription
    • Commission
    • Listing
    Business ModelsDescription of Monetization ModelExamples of Companies
    SubscriptionBusinesses use this model to collect recurring amounts from users to offer continuous services or products.Instacart
    CommissionA business charges a certain amount of fees from the users against providing services. A good example of a segment that uses this model can be the food delivery business.DoorDash
    ListingA business charges a premium for listing vendors at the top position of the mobile app.Etsy

    The above models are described just to give you a brief idea about the types of models. Once you decide on a business model for your on-demand delivery app, you are ready to convert your idea into a reality. For this, you need an app development partner. Application development companies will help you to create your own delivery app.

  7. Find a Delivery Service App Development Company

  8. Why do you need to find a reliable app development partner who is experienced in developing the best mobile app solutions?

    Because a reliable and experienced mobile app development team will help you to build apps as per your custom requirements and budget. Furthermore, with the experience of mobile app developers, your idea gets improved with their suggestions and experience.

    Hiring a delivery service application development company in Canada can be a one-stop solution for all your requirements. It includes stages like:

    • Business consulting
    • Business analysis
    • Idea evaluation
    • Project management
    • Design and development
    • Testing and maintenance

    Moreover, the delivery app development company you hire must have technical experts in diverse technologies. So, whether you want to develop a native mobile app for platforms like Android/iOS or a hybrid mobile application for both platforms, you get your custom requirement fulfilled under one roof.

    Another reason to choose a mobile app development company is that they have experience in developing different types of on-demand mobile apps. For example, an application development company has expertise in following on-demand apps development like:

    • Food delivery app development
    • On-demand video streaming app development
    • Grocery delivery app development
    • Courier service app development
    • On-demand transportation app development

    In fact, one of our top on-demand marijuana delivery app solutions has served over 2K consumers. To know how this on-demand marijuana delivery app helped consumers on getting home delivery, check our case study.

    marijuana delivery app

    On-Demand Marijuana Delivery App

    We have developed a marijuana delivery service app that has listed over 500 medical dispensaries. This app has features like tracking of the orders, managing orders, and delivery from that platform.

    Once you hire our mobile app developers, we will help you from ideation to development to product launch in the market. Our built apps are 100% bug-free and perform seamlessly on all devices.

So far, we have discussed the steps of making an on-demand delivery app. The next part that comes here is how delivery service apps work. Knowing the working process of the delivery service app helps you to understand the concept of this business. Let’s check the work process.

Looking to Hire Mobile App Developers to Develop a Custom On-Demand App?

Space-O has experienced mobile app consultants. Connect with us to discuss your custom requirements for your app development.

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How Does the Delivery Service App Work?

While talking about on-demand delivery apps, generally, users think about food delivery service apps. But, it is not the only segment of delivery service. On-demand delivery services apps are also part of the following industries:

  • Transportation
  • Clothing
  • Shopping
  • Medicines
  • Healthcare

But, what is a delivery service app, and how does a delivery app work?

A delivery service app is a software application that allows users to order services or products. In this app, a user can see an interface from which s/he can book product and service, allow retailers to see the order details, and once the order is ready, a delivery partner gets a request of delivering the product or services.

Now, what are the different categories in the on-demand services?

Mainly, there are 3 categories of on-demand services. We have described each of the categories in detail as below.

Business to Business (Enterprise to Enterprise apps)These applications allow deliveries between businesses to businesses.Uber
Business to Consumer (Enterprise to Customers apps)These apps facilitate the delivery of products from businesses to consumers.McDonald’s
Consumer to Consumer (Person to Person app)These types of mobile applications allow people to buy products from each other.Kijiji Canada

Next, we are going to discuss the features that you should consider in your custom on-demand delivery app development.

Top Features of On-demand Delivery Service App

Here’s the list of features of the delivery service app. Also, we have described a little about features to give you a basic overview. Whether you build an on-demand delivery app for food delivery services or grocery delivery services or for any domain, these features are a must. We have divided features into three categories. Because you need to create a separate app for customers, drivers, and admin.

Let’s discuss the core features of

  • Customer app
  • Delivery partner app
  • Admin panel

Features for Customers App

  • Search – A customer should be able to search the product categories, suppliers, reviews, and so on. This makes it easy for your users to find products on your mobile app platforms. Offer filter options to users based on price, company, ratings, and time.
  • In-app Payment – Allow users to make purchases by paying online using credit cards, debit cards, or net banking.
  • Download Invoice – Offer an option to send an invoice to customers via text SMS, email, or offer download option.
  • Push Notifications – Sending customers real-time notification updates makes users feel that companies care. Usually, customers prefer to get order status, tracking updates, bonuses, and special discounts. This helps in increasing the retention time of users on your app for a longer period.
  • Live Updates – Generally, in delivery service apps, live updates regarding the food or grocery delivery lets users know when it arrives or to get general delivery updates in real-time.
  • Order History – Allow users to check the previous history of placed orders. It helps users to reorder their previous/favourite orders.
  • Delivery Time Estimation – A time estimation of parcel/fuel deliveries makes it flexible to know when users will get delivery by courier.

Features for Driver App

  • Order Management – The screen of order management makes it easy for courier partners to manage the number of orders and their preparation. (This feature is essential because it works in every type of on-demand app whether its a food delivery app, grocery app, transportation app, or shopping app)
  • Delivery Status – Allow delivery partners to know whether the order is ready for pick-up or delivery. This helps drivers to know the status of the order.
  • Route Management – Offering a location to a customer’s place makes it easy for the delivery partners to deliver the product without getting lost with the directions. Further, you can integrate a delivery route planner app, which helps you from setting stops to creating efficient routes for faster deliveries without facing hassles.
  • Earnings – A driver should be able to get a report of his/her earnings, payment schedule, and total earnings of the week or month.

Features of Admin Panel

  • Profile Management – This feature will help admins to manage the profile of customers and make necessary changes like creating, updating, or deleting the profile of a user.
  • Order Management – It allows you to create and manage the order or product items and make necessary changes if required such as updating, creating, or deleting products.
  • Driver Management – It allows you to manage drivers and details about drivers like payments, profiles, and driving licenses.
  • Payments – Admin gets access to check payment status, fraud detection, or refund of orders.
  • Pending Order Status – Facilitates the status of orders that are yet to dispatch and when they will be dispatched to the courier.

We have discussed all the features for three of the categories. In the next part, we are going to discuss how much time it takes to develop a delivery app.

How Long Does It Take to Develop a Delivery Service App?

The average time to develop an on-demand delivery service app takes between 4 to 7 months.

The timeline to develop an app depends on one’s requirement because time can not be certain while developing any type of mobile application. The factors that impact the timeline of development are the platform, features, technology stack, and screens of the app.

But, here, we have bifurcated the time to develop a delivery app in the following table.

Delivery Service App Timeline
Different Sub ApplicationsApproximate Timeline of App
Customer App (Native Android or iOS)300 – 350 hours
Driver App (Native Android or iOS)240 – 270 hours
Store Owner App (Native Android or iOS)170 – 180 hours
Admin Panel + API160 – 170 hours
Total Hours870 – 970 hours

If you want to get an exact estimation of an on-demand delivery service app, then contact us. We will send you a custom quote for your project requirements.

Moving further, we are going to discuss the cost of creating a delivery app for your business. Generally, the cost of the application depends on how many hours it takes to develop a delivery app. Let’s check it out.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Delivery Service App?

Every mobile application is different, and so does its cost. Several factors create an impact on the cost of developing an app, such as features, functionalities, screens, platform, and time, of course. To calculate the app development costs, here is a formula.

Total Cost of Development = Estimated hours of development X Developer’s hourly rate

As per the above formula, let’s say a developer charges $35/hour. And it takes around 970-1000 hours to develop a delivery app. Now, multiple both the numbers to get the approximate cost.

1000 hours X $35 per hour = $35000. So, the cost of a delivery service app in Canada with basic features like notifications, search filter, order placement, order history, and location tracking would be $35000.

However, the location of app developers also influences the cost of developing a mobile application. Here, we have shared the app developers’ hourly rates from different locations. Check the following table.

Hourly Rate of App Developers From Different Region
North American$100 to $150/hour
Canada and Australia$90 to $130/hour
Western Europe$60 to $80/hour
India$25 to $50/hour

Check this image for more information related to app development costs from different regions.

app development cost

This was all about the cost of developing a delivery app; let’s recall all the points that we have discussed. Those points are market statistics, steps, working process, and cost of creating an on-demand delivery service app.

Check out the next section about the best delivery services app available in the market.

Have an Idea to Make a Delivery Service App?

Connect with us to give us a brief about your idea. Our experienced IT professionals will help you to create an on-demand business app with custom features and a tech stack.

Best Delivery Service Apps in the Market

Here we have selected a few best on-demand delivery services apps and listed them down with their features, revenue, and download links. Checking out these apps will help you to know how you can make your application and what you need to consider in your mobile app.

App LogoNameKey FeaturesRevenueDownload Links
uber iconUber
  • Book a car ride
  • Real-time tracking
  • Multiple in-app payment options
  • User feedback
  • In-app chat or call
  • Ride history
$25.2 Billion
Android | iOS
instacart iconInstacart
  • Product search
  • Payments
  • Checkout
  • Product recommendation
  • Tracking
  • Cashback and coupons
$2.9 Billion
Android | iOS
postmates iconPostmates
  • Geolocation
  • Push notifications
  • Payments
  • Price calculator
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Messaging
$765 Million
Android | iOS
rinse iconRinse
  • Schedule pick up or drop
  • Track orders
  • Push notifications
  • Order history
  • Option to choose the type of service
  • Confirm orders
  • Map and Calendar views
$23.5 Million (2017)Android | iOS

This was all about the delivery service mobile apps. If you are looking for additional information, check our FAQs section below.

FAQ About Making a Custom Delivery Service App

  1. What are the essential points to consider in the delivery service app?

  2. In delivery apps, the most important part is features that make apps easy to use and feasible for end-users. Therefore, ensuring the right features in the delivery service applications is important. Some of the general features to consider are:

    • Automatic invoice generation
    • Payments
    • Geo-location
    • Navigation and route optimization
  3. Where can you hire app developers to create an app?

    • Space-O
    • Upwork
    • Toptal
    • Stack Overflow
  4. How to make money from on-demand apps?

  5. There are various ways from which you can make money from your own on-demand apps. Here are the names of a few monetization models.

    • In-app advertising
    • Subscriptions
    • Sponsorships
    • In-app purchasing

Let’s Develop a Delivery Service App

You have learned about the on-demand delivery apps market, the steps to create it, and its cost. The demand for delivery apps is increasing as people are likely interested in using such services. These services make the life of humans easy and facilitate the benefit of saving time and getting solutions on an urgent basis.

Want to develop a custom delivery solution for your business? Or have an idea to make a food delivery app for your business? Get in touch with us. We are a leading software development company in Canada. We have experience in developing various on-demand delivery services applications.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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